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  • kicked out of my own office- long post

    So... I had a really crazy experience today that I want to discuss here on this forum. I am currently employed as a Retail Loss Prevention Manager for a sporting goods store. Today, three State Troopers came into my store to make contact with a sales associate that was named as a witness to a crime. I normally don't have any issues with any law enforcement in my community but today made me stop and think.

    These troopers were only there to talk to this associate as a witness (she didn't name herself as victim and they were not theirr to arrest her) and they ignored challenges by three employees as they entered the non- public area of the store (clearly marked as "employees only"). When they made contact with the associate to ask her questions she informed them that she was on the clock and needed to go punch off the time clock before she talked to them. The lead trooper refused and told her to stay put and talk to them. After a few moments the troopers decided that they needed more privacy than what the backstock offered and made their way down the hallway to the first open office door. That first open door happened to be my office. One of my new LP Officers was in my office at the time writing a report and they told him to leave! My officer then left the office and called to advise me of the situation. About a minute later I arrived at my office to find the associate sitting behind my desk (which is wrong anyways because there was confidential paperwork on my desk and associates are not allowed in the Security Department or LP managers office) and the door locked. When I rapped on the glass I was told through the door to go away because they needed privacy to talk to the associate. Of course, my keys are sitting on my desk so I could open the door. I then put my badge up to the glass and tapped again. After this one of the troopers came to the door and let me in. I was then told that I had an attitude and that I was not allowed to hear this conversation. And then I was told to leave or I would be subject offical action.

    Well, needless to say I was mad. You do not come on to closed private property and "commandeer" the security manager's office without legal cause.

    What would you have done?
    Last edited by Justice_Hound; 01-11-2008, 01:39 AM.
    We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
    -George Orwell

  • #2
    Offered the use of the back room at the guard shack, and afterwards drank coffee and BS'ed with the troopers... like usual.

    If Law enforcement needs to speak with an individual, they're going to do it. If they need privacy... they're going to get it.

    You have no capacity to be able to interfere with their investigation or enforcement of the law.
    Overmotivated and Underpaid... I'm a Security supervisors wet dream...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Alaska Security View Post
      Offered the use of the back room at the guard shack, and afterwards drank coffee and BS'ed with the troopers... like usual.

      If Law enforcement needs to speak with an individual, they're going to do it. If they need privacy... they're going to get it.

      You have no capacity to be able to interfere with their investigation or enforcement of the law.
      That may be so, but State Troopers are PUBLIC servants I should not be threatened with arrest for wanting to enter MY office. Restricting my access to private property without a warrant or emergency situation is illegal. Our corporate attorneys are in the process of contacting the attorney general's office. There was no crime in progress or REQUEST to use the office, they just kicked my staff member out.

      NOT COOL
      We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
      -George Orwell

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Justice_Hound View Post


        That may be so, but State Troopers are PUBLIC servants I should not be threatened with arrest for wanting to enter MY office. Restricting my access to private property without a warrant or emergency situation is illegal. Our corporate attorneys are in the process of contacting the attorney general's office. There was no crime in progress or REQUEST to use the office, they just kicked my staff member out.

        NOT COOL
        Generally the police win every time all the time and they know that. Because they have more guys, more guns, more training and a general voting public that really is totally numb to any kind of civilian oversight of any tentacle of government, including enforcement.

        In your specific situation, and to my (limited) knowledge, the Troopers had absolutely no right to enter the private section of the store, much less to tell store employees and security (agents of the property owner) what to do on that property. There was no crime in progress, and the investigation did not require the forced imposition of their presence and dominance on the property.

        If you think the police are public servants....they are the servants of the bureaucrat(s) that got them the job, sign their paycheck. My experience is that police service to the public means arresting as many people as possible, getting as many charges pressed as possible regardless of the guilt or innocence of anyone. Don't ever think private property is really private, its just leased from the government. Agents of the government (not agents of the property owner) have absolute authority and power anywhere they step their foot. Think, I am wrong, try challenging that absolute power on ANY grounds and see if you don't end up in jail. We (the regular citizen) are just one of two categories of idiots to the police: useful and not useful. Either way it is best to avoid them at all costs, unless (doing security) police contact is in the best interests of the one who pays YOUR salary.

        Sorry but stories like the one you told just IRK me.

        edit:

        Really the only way anything will be done in your particular situation is if you work for a large chain store AND the chain makes generous contributions to State politicians AND the chain is miffed enough about the State Police intrusion to actually make the phone call to the politicians they make the contributions to. But that ain't gonna happen.
        Last edited by junkyarddog; 01-11-2008, 02:30 AM.
        formerly C&A

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't think you were threatened with arrest for wanting to enter your office.

          I think you were threatened with arrest for interference with an ongoing investigation.

          I also think that the troopers probably did not get a warm welcome at the front door, and that you don't have any standing procedures or protocol in place with local law enforcement in regards to a standard response or professional courtesty "hey we're here for your coffee and employee, can you bring them here so we don't have to cuff one of your cashiers out front"

          WPD/AST have agreed-upon procedures, and parking spot kept clear, for response to LP activities requiring their participation at Fred Meyer and other major retail establishments in wasilla. They park in back, come right in the door with their own entry code, and then immediately go to the LP office.

          Given it was troopers in uniform, I'm guessing you're LP at the new sportsmans warehouse... and are getting off on a bad foot with a professional relationship towards the law enforcement entities that you're going to have to interact with on a major basis.
          Overmotivated and Underpaid... I'm a Security supervisors wet dream...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Alaska Security View Post
            I don't think you were threatened with arrest for wanting to enter your office.

            I think you were threatened with arrest for interference with an ongoing investigation.

            I also think that the troopers probably did not get a warm welcome at the front door, and that you don't have any standing procedures or protocol in place with local law enforcement in regards to a standard response or professional courtesty "hey we're here for your coffee and employee, can you bring them here so we don't have to cuff one of your cashiers out front"

            WPD/AST have agreed-upon procedures, and parking spot kept clear, for response to LP activities requiring their participation at Fred Meyer and other major retail establishments in wasilla. They park in back, come right in the door with their own entry code, and then immediately go to the LP office.

            Given it was troopers in uniform, I'm guessing you're LP at the new sportsmans warehouse... and are getting off on a bad foot with a professional relationship towards the law enforcement entities that you're going to have to interact with on a major basis.
            Wow, Here it goes-

            1) Wrong store, wrong city.
            2) Up until today we have had great interaction with local, state, and federal law enforcement. Every single day I have at least one LEO in my office concerning an investigation (ATF,DEA, Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement and the like). If you take the time to search my previous posts you would have found out that I am a certified law enforcement academy grad and former deputy sheriff,park ranger, and Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Enforcement Investigator. All but one of our staff in Alaska are all former LEO's (from such backgrounds as the chief of a major city PD here in Alaska, a former Veteran's Affairs Police Lt., and a 22 year veteran of the North Slope PD).
            3) At no point did ANY employees of my store give these troopers ANY reason to have such a bad disposition.
            4) The Trooper in Charge was the one with the big attidude, the other troopers I know (I even was an instructor with one of the newer ones when he was in the academy) were really nervous with this.

            And finally... Just because there is a "misdemeanor crime" investigation in progress does NOT ever give Law Enforcement absolute authority to go anywhere they want to. Example- If you are a parent of a teenager and one of your kid's friends vandalized a building and the Police think that your son may know something. This does not give them the authority to automatically enter YOUR home, tell you to get out, and then tell you that you will be arrested if you renter your home. CAN YOU SAY
            UNCONSITUTIONAL!

            I have had it with this tonight.

            Justice_Hound
            LP Manger
            Last edited by Justice_Hound; 01-11-2008, 01:58 PM.
            We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
            -George Orwell

            Comment


            • #7
              Alaska Security,
              It sounds like you are Fungo to my Bucky Katt
              We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
              -George Orwell

              Comment


              • #8
                well im not sure what laws up there are, but down here in utah, basically as a private property owner, you have every right to ask LEO to leave without a warrant if they refuse to do so they are in violation of private property protection act, here the LEO can not entry private property without cause, ie criminal acts or invitation, so as a security officer i can ask a LEO to leave if i dont want him "camping/report writing/driving through" (etc) on my private property, however, i would rather have them do this although the law allows me to ask them to leave, i wont as i prefer to have a better relationship with the LEO, however the law here states that if a LEO is conducting an investagation "ie witness interview" they have the right to enter private property, but not to "take over private property", and if the witness wishes to not talk the LEO has to leave, also in this state, if the company wishes to not have LEO conduct interviews on company time there is usually a written agrangement stating to contact the company security director, and prohibit LEO from entering restricted areas to gain access to said employees as they are on company time.

                i do not know laws there but based on utah law, the LEO violated law, and you should contact the State Attoreny General, however be avised laws there may be different then here.
                Its not how we die that counts.....
                Its not how we lived that counts....
                all that matters is how we saved that one life that one time by being in the right place at the right time....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Justice hound: I wear a tooth around my neck like Flava Flave...


                  The troopers I've interacted with both personally and professionally are good guys and perform their duties as required... but it sounds like you hit on a Ping Krick of one with that ordeal.

                  The lawyers will duke it out over that ordeal.
                  Overmotivated and Underpaid... I'm a Security supervisors wet dream...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Normally I have had the police ring me directly and ask me to escort an employee into a remote area so they may speak to the person in private. I usually prefer for the police to come into a back entry if possible as it ensures they too have privacy and not to advertise the fact of what their intentions were.

                    I did however rip a young detective a new one when he flashed his badge and barged into my office. I asked him if I could help him with a matter (usually CCTV requests) or assistance with evidence gathering. This idiot just read from his rules book and I also was threated with arrest for interference but he told me nothing so far as per my request. I then received a call from the Detectives Super and told him of what had been said to me despite my requests to know how I could help. Only bad experience I ever had with them - but in your case JH I believe they overstepped your mark an a 40 second courtesy call would have been something so easy to do. Unless invited onto your premises, the police need a warrant or a bloody valid reason (ie. assault in progress) to be on private land.
                    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Justice_Hound View Post


                      That may be so, but State Troopers are PUBLIC servants I should not be threatened with arrest for wanting to enter MY office. Restricting my access to private property without a warrant or emergency situation is illegal. Our corporate attorneys are in the process of contacting the attorney general's office. There was no crime in progress or REQUEST to use the office, they just kicked my staff member out.

                      NOT COOL
                      This is the correct course of action.
                      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You should keep your keys on you at all times and not on the desk. Had you done that, you could have "walked in."

                        Do NOT keep confidential information in plain view. My assistant security manager loves to let others sit at my desk (Sergeants desk shared with another Sgt and I) and use my computer. I password EVERY confidential document and none of it is in plain view.

                        Is your camera system in that office? If so, they are disrupting your operations and should be offered another place to go. Our dispatch center is adjacent to my office and we will never allow it to be taken over by anyone as our cameras are in there.
                        "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Justice_Hound,
                          I can completely sympathise with your situation. I was fortunate enough to see what happens when one of our guys (the former LPM), did something to provoke the LEO.

                          In this instance we had 2 HPO's giving classes on boat safety. They had parked their vehicle out around back of the store and were allowed to enter the same way. After reviewing the cameras, the LPM noticed that the vehicle was parked in a very small area marked with red stripes...a fire zone. He went to find one of the officers and proceeded to threaten him with anything he could, even reporting them both if they didn't move.

                          Instead of using some "professionalism" the LPM verbally abused the officer to try and show that he was the boss. Needless to say they went round and round over something as trivial as what it turned out to be. If there had been some communication things could've been handled a lot different. And to my knowledge, that officer was constantly on his case until he left the company!

                          I agree with you completely. A simple phone call alerting both you and the associate of their visit would've given everyone enough time to make arrangements.....the associate clocking out, your LPO moving to another location and allowing yourself to ensure that your office was fully available for the meeting...and that all confidential info was secured as well.

                          I hope that everything gets straightened out and maybe the next time things will be done different. Good luck to you.....
                          "Life In Every Breath"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FireEMSPolice View Post
                            You should keep your keys on you at all times and not on the desk. Had you done that, you could have "walked in."

                            Do NOT keep confidential information in plain view. My assistant security manager loves to let others sit at my desk (Sergeants desk shared with another Sgt and I) and use my computer. I password EVERY confidential document and none of it is in plain view.

                            Is your camera system in that office? If so, they are disrupting your operations and should be offered another place to go. Our dispatch center is adjacent to my office and we will never allow it to be taken over by anyone as our cameras are in there.
                            I normally have my keys on me, but because one of my LP Officers was sitting at my computer writing a report the office was what I considered secure from unwanted store employees. (the info was not considered confidential to the LP officer, we have very few secrets in my department). As for the cctv system, it is only partially in this office, the main camera room is next door. AND I would have offered them anyplace IF the REQUEST had been there. But there was NO effort to even request the room. My LPO was told he had to leave! Balsy if you ask me.
                            We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
                            -George Orwell

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alaska Security View Post
                              Justice hound: I wear a tooth around my neck like Flava Flave...


                              The troopers I've interacted with both personally and professionally are good guys and perform their duties as required... but it sounds like you hit on a Ping Krick of one with that ordeal.

                              The lawyers will duke it out over that ordeal.
                              I almost wish that it was something I did that gave them this attidude, but his prick button had already been pushed before anybody from my store talked to him. Due to the fact that Law Enforcement is my "career" I really hate seing LEOs with corn cobbs up their butt. You get more with honey than vinegar the old addage goes.

                              On a completely spearate note, I was just contacted by one of my LPO's who was working yesterday and he informed me that the whole converstation between the troopers, my LPO in the office, the associate, and myself was recorded. When the officer on duty in the surveillance room saw the troopers barge into my office, he decided to turn on the audio recorder in my office.

                              So much for the privacy that the State Troopers so badly wanted.

                              And before you law monkeys get going, there is a sign on the door to my office that states that the office is video and audio recorded. Plus, the associate signed a wavier when she was hired saying that she understood that she was being video and audio recorded on store property and that it was not in violation of Alaska State Law.

                              I think this recording will be the key point in any legal or bureaucratic action taken against the troopers.
                              Last edited by Justice_Hound; 01-11-2008, 02:09 PM.
                              We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
                              -George Orwell

                              Comment

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